For someone who's known as the best postseason pitcher in Rangers history and as a bulldog who loves to eat up innings, it has to gnaw at the soul of Colby Lewis to know he hasn't set foot on a big-league mound since July 2012, other than a ceremonial first pitch prior to the Rangers' loss to Tampa Bay to end the 2013 season.
Lewis will take the next step back to the big-league mound on Monday when he makes his Cactus League debut after some successful, pain-free throwing sessions in bullpens and intrasquad games. He'll be scheduled to throw two innings against Cleveland and he'll hope to have another pain-free effort as he's trying to work his way back from hip resurfacing surgery — just shy of a hip replacement. He's the first known baseball player to have the surgery.
“I just want to continue down that road and continue to try to stay healthy and try to put myself in a position to win a spot in the rotation,” Lewis told ESPN Dallas.
Lewis' success or lack thereof will play a big factor in the Rangers' success this season. With Derek Holland's injury that will have him out until July at the earliest and Matt Harrison's uncertainty, Lewis would be a big bonus if he could come back as his old self after a year and a half away from the big leagues.